Apr 14

PWC14: Group G Finale (USA, Portugal, Ghana, Germany)

Pop World Cup 201411 comments • 1,260 views

brandy Welcome to the final Group G game! Let’s see how things stand.

USA (managed by The Lex), Portugal (managed by Weej) and Ghana (managed by Jonathan Bogart) all have 4 points, and the barest whisker of percentile difference between them. So it’s a straight knockout – the two sides doing best from those three go through.

Germany (managed by Tak), meanwhile, fell victim to the Group of Death and are on 0 points. They’ll be playing for pride only.

Poll and songs below the cut, and an ADMIN UPDATE for fans of those.

USA: Brandy Clark – “Just Like Him”

“That country realness.”

PORTUGAL: Samuel Úria – “Forasteiro”

“Portugal’s secret weapon was all ready to be deployed when last-minute fact-checking revealed she wasn’t even from Europe (don’t trust rateyourmusic for this kind of detail) – so here’s the next best thing, a more traditional formation to be sure, but such an unusual star performer that it doesn’t matter. If this were the facial expressions world cup this would be a shoe-in.”

GHANA: Itz Tiffany – “Dance (Neke Neke)”

“In a dead heat? Time to break out the big guns. Itz Tiffany is a star forward capable of winning pop football games all by herself; that she plays such a strategically subdued game here, giving equal weight to the precision work of the back half of the pitch, is part of her genius. Her striking is unpredictable, but nothing’s getting through that web.”

GERMANY: House Rockerz – “Elektrisiert”

“Kirk Lazurus said “Everybody knows you never go full retard”. It’s been said in PWC circles you should never go full Europop. But after an attempt to play a diversified game, mixing tactics up with startling changes of pace, passing rhythms and tempo, victory has eluded the team. There is no other game plan left. Route one we go with the House Rockerz. A steady start kicks into a higher intensity game once the back four get settled. A relentless pressing in midfiled begins and the juicing up of BPMs blends with some heavy crunching tackles to break up the game as the bass drops. The bridges throw in some uncomplicated link play around the box before unleashing shots on goal from all angles and a series of “oh oh ohs” to rouse the masses in the chorus.”


G3: Which TWO Tracks Do You Pick?

  • GHANA: Itz Tiffany 71%
  • USA: Brandy Clark 53%
  • GERMANY: House Rockerz 37%
  • PORTUGAL: Samuel Uria 33%

Total Voters: 49

Poll closes: 22 Apr 2014 @ 12:00

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RESULTS: Hypnotising tactics from the enigmatic Mullah Rezmat gave the Switzerland team a share of the top points in Group E, alongside Ecuador. Both sides did all that could be asked of them, and Honduras played their part too (by getting 0 points in the third game). But only one could qualify alongside France, and by half a point it’s the Swiss. Transalpine triumph for the Europeans, heartbreak for the Americas. Congratulations to the Mullah and to Jessica, commiserations to Kat and Meghan. We’ll see who the winners play next in a few days. Final Standings: 1. France – 7 points. 2. Switzerland – 4 points. 3. Honduras – 3.5 points (avg. 45%). 4. Ecurador – 3.5 points (avg. 41%)

ADMIN UPDATE: The final group game will be up this week – just need two more tracks for that one. Then it’s an Easter break and we’ll be back on Wednesday 23rd with the knockout stages. The knockouts will be two tracks per game, 3 games a week – very easy to participate in. There’s one rule change – repeat acts from the group stage ARE now allowed, but you can’t use anyone twice within the knockouts themselves. Whether anyone takes advantage of this, I’ve no idea!

And remember to go and vote in Group F, too.


  1. 1
    lartsaegis on 15 Apr 2014 #

    I think that German track has the hardest, punchiest kick (drum) of any song that’s played so far. That’s one way to let a listener know you’re going all the way for goal. As for my vote, I’m going out to lunch with a final judgment for now.

  2. 2
    lonepilgrim on 15 Apr 2014 #

    USA make a dramatic change of tactics with a style of play that brings tears to the eyes of this hardened commentator. Whether this deceptively straightforward approach will win remains to be seen.
    Portugal adopt an animated and quirky style that is initially compelling but becomes a little too predictable.
    Ghana are the outstanding team for this round against tough opposition. There’s a fierce confidence and free flowing rhythm to this line up that makes them unbeatable.
    Germany go route one Eurobosh and it’s a tactic that allows them to play with greater confidence and flair than previous rounds. Unfortunately they’re up against more adventurous opponents and will struggle to make a significant impact.

  3. 3
    Chelovek na lune on 15 Apr 2014 #

    Portugal – quirky, fun, a bit lopsided, but not without persistence or competence or charm. But in the face of the competition here….

    Ghana – more of West Africa’s Popular Football Golden Generation, this is much more of a Radio Romance (with a much better beat, and a less irritating lyric and vocal approach than that one) than a Could Have Been. The stripped down and efficient style adds to their energy, and means their attack dominates. But! The competition does for them, this time. There Doesn’t Seem To Be Anyone Around.

    USA: ah, this is the America I love, that touches my conservative heart. Touching, well-measured, wise, deep, the truth of emotion and lived experience. Give give give me more more more of this wonder stuff. I don’t know how they manage to score even one goal when half the team are in tears, but they do. This is Trisha Yearwood-tastic. Love it.

    Germany – no messing. Not a great deal of innovation, either, but their intent and aggression is utterly clear. So they score, over and over again which is a bit of a spoiler at this stage of the group, but it’s a game of two halves, and some you win and some you lose, sometime’s you’re as sick as a parrot, sometime, as here, you’re over the moon. Fab.

  4. 4
    lockedintheattic on 15 Apr 2014 #

    When I saw Itz Tiffany was going to be in the Ghanaian line-up for this match I thought we had a clear winner – Azonto is one of the most compelling playing styles of Pop Football to have emerged in recent years, and Itz Tiffany is one its most stylish players (she’s even appeared recently in our own Pop Premiership on Fuse ODG’s Azonto), and this is a masterclass in how to do it…

    …and then from nowhere as she’s showboating to the finish, confident of an easy win, the quiet American stuns us all with a late winner. Probably the most beautiful goal of the tournament so far, she’s clearly a player to watch.

    The other two teams don’t even get a look in. But what a game – probably my two favourite tracks of the tournament so far, and even better that one was so unexpected.

  5. 5
    Garry on 16 Apr 2014 #

    Out of contention, the German team seems to be supporting the US. The Germans help in this regard by snagging one of the two votes. Freed of pressure they can just bombard the area and reign in shots. That said they do so without much competition.

    The other three teams seem to have panicked at the deadlock. The US try and build an emotional narrative around their play, which may be full of substance but not movement. The Portuguese try for quirk on paper if not necessarily in performance. The Ghanians pull out a big gun not playing her best game. However while Ghana lacks variation in play quality shows and Itz Tiffany is able to shimmy through on goal past two static defenses.

  6. 6
    thefatgit on 16 Apr 2014 #

    Itz Tiffany demonstrate some of the most compelling moves put together on a PWC pitch I’ve seen so far. African dominance of the group stages is a running theme in this tournament, and I see no difference here.

    USA provide a beautifully worked example of what they do best. Such a wonderfully told story told on the pitch, I’m sure nothing is left in reserve on the final whistle. So why am I unmoved?

    Portugal turn weird up to 11. But, and it’s a big but, all this out and out wiggyness from their striker does nothing to baffle their opposition. No special move to unlock a defence here. Have Portugal stumbled at the death, here?

    And much as it bothers me to feel sympathy for Germany, I do feel sympathy for their beleaguered coach. And I hate to see any team go home without a single point on the board. The Bosch do bosh best, so they get my wasted 2nd vote. Sorry USA. Sorry Portugal.

  7. 7
    Erithian on 17 Apr 2014 #

    Lovely change of tactics from the US, an immediate crowd-pleaser and the emotion takes them through to goal. Nice one. Germany not my usual choice of tactics, but the verve and the girls-night-out vibe adds a bit of passion to the house cliches, so they get my second vote. Well done the Speisemadchen!

    Portugal are nice and quirky, an oddly captivating face like our chum Fabrikante from Ecuador, but in the end he’s a distraction in his own video. While Ghana can produce this kind of stuff in their sleep, and it’s not a style of play that appeals to me unless you bring something new to it.

  8. 8
    Matt DC on 18 Apr 2014 #

    Impressive sangfroid from the Americans under pressure here and it might actually pay off, but my first vote for Ghana here, who have been delightful in all their games and deserve to go through.

  9. 9
    lonepilgrim on 22 Apr 2014 #

    Congratulations to Ghana and the USA – worthy winners

  10. 10
    Tom on 22 Apr 2014 #

    I’m delighted to say that I’ve now got all four of the final Group H tracks, so that’ll be up very shortly with a truncated voting time. The knockout stage will start very soon, too.

  11. 11
    weej on 25 Apr 2014 #

    No shame in going out to this opposition, though I had stronger stuff up my sleeve it would’ve left me depleted in later rounds – sure this won’t be the case for Ghana or the USA.

    As a parting gesture for my team I’ve put up a mix of the best tracks I’ve found this past couple of months – http://haonowshaokao.com/2014/04/25/portugal-in-the-pop-world-cup-2014/ – have a listen and see if you can tell what I had planned for the final!

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